Singapore's naval divers

Singapore's naval divers

The Navy's combat divers, like the commandos, are among the Singapore Armed Forces' toughest servicemen. Only the fittest are picked for a chance at this elite military vocation, and not everyone survives the rigorous training regime that pushes their physical and mental endurance to the limit. Photojournalists Alphonsus Chern and Caroline Chia tracked a batch of trainees through their six-month journey to become combat divers, watched as many dropped out along the way and had a ringside view of the toughest five days of every trainee's life, Hell Week.

Exclusive look at the Singapore Navy's combat diver training: To Hell and back
By Alphonsus Chern

More than 10 years after I read that book, when our navy agreed for my colleague Caroline Chia and I to be the first photojournalists to observe 20 weeks of combat diver training, we said "yes" without a second thought to also follow the trainees through their version of Hell Week - formally called Team Building Week.

Diving with the Singapore Navy's combat divers
By Caroline Chia

That first dive reminded me of how slow I was underwater, magnified by the fact that I was trying to keep up with some of the fittest men in the navy who were more than a decade younger than I was.


Get the full story from The Straits Times.

Naval Diving Unit: Surviving Hell Week

Five days without sleep. Non-stop physical exercise and mental harassment. That is what 70-odd cold, wet, and sandy trainees of the Republic of Singapore Navy's 40th Combat Diver Course endured during their Team Building Week - also known as Hell Week - a rite of passage they must complete in order to earn their place as elite frogmen in the Naval Diving Unit.

Naval Diving Unit: Sun, sand and sea

Sunny skies and clear blue waters. These were what the boys enjoyed as they learned to scuba dive in the 10-metre-deep pool at the Sembawang Camp. Watch how they swim, dive and train to become some of the fittest men in the Singapore Armed Forces.

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An inside look at Singapore's Naval Diving Unit's Hell Week

Five days without sleep. Non-stop physical exercise and mental harassment.

That is what 70-odd cold, wet, and sandy trainees of the Republic of Singapore Navy's 40th Combat Diver Course endured during their Team Building Week - also known as Hell Week.

It is a rite of passage they must complete in order to earn their place as elite frogmen in the Naval Diving Unit.

Sunny skies and clear blue waters. These were what the boys enjoyed as they learned to scuba dive in the 10-metre-deep pool at the Sembawang Camp.

The Straits Times Alphonsus Chern and Caroline Chia got an inside look at how they swim, dive and train to become some of the fittest men in the Singapore Armed Forces.


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